We borrow a lot for this route from our DelMarVa route. But for the most part, this route sticks to the beaten path of US 301. So, coming in from the New York or New England areas? Catch the New Jersey Turnpike system to Wilmington, DE to avoid the Philadelphia metro area. Great Lakes area or farther west, drop down through Lancaster, PA region.
If you are in a hurry, just find US 301, and stay on it. It is a fast moving limited access route through the eastern side of the Baltimore and DC metro areas. But if a bit of tour is more to your liking, keep reading.
This route starts in Elkton, MD. A great area that is way more relaxed and has lots of lodging and camping options in the area, not to mention food right off of I-95. We run down MD 213 up and over scenic Chesapeake City, MD on the C&D canal bridge. Continue following MD 213 down through historic Chestertown, and Centreville, where we’ll catch US 301 over the Chesapeake Bay Memorial Bridge towards Annapolis, MD. Remember, going west bound on US 50/301, the bridge is free.
If you plan to stop in Annapolis, take the exit off of US 50/301 for MD 450 and follow it in. It provides the best scenic views of the US Naval Academy and is the quickest route into the public parking areas around historic downtown Annapolis.
Our route however gets off of US 301 at the junction of MD 2 (exit 23A). MD 2 will take you to MD 4 and then Johnstown, MD near the mouth of the Patuxent River into the Chesapeake Bay. After crossing over the Patuxent River, the route continues southerly to the Patuxent River Naval Station and the newly renovated Patuxent River Naval Air Museum.
If you have the time, continue following the route down the Point Lookout Lighthouse and State Park. The state park is on the location of a camp which imprisoned Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. After the Civil War, the area was used as a hospital for veterans. Many of the buildings, including the lighthouse, are still accessible today.
Our route then follows MD 5 before reconnecting with US 301 to cross the Potomac River. There is a toll for crossing this bridge like so many in the region. So if you have a toll pass, be sure to bring it.
Before crossing the Rappahannock River at Port Royal, VA, stop at the Bell Grove Plantation B&B. Bell Grove Plantation is the birthplace and home of James Madison. While the estate is private, it is well appointed Bed and Breakfast with four rooms and numerous period antiques, the estate is situated along the Rappahannock River.
While having a full food service for any meal of the day, it is their formal Afternoon Tea Service that is the star attraction of Bell Grove plantation. So, partake in an elegant pastime and have a gentle discussion of the best oil and tires for our rides, all the while extending our “pinkie” as we raise a cup, sip a tea and nibble a pastry.
After leaving Bell Grove Plantation, you are now only 32 miles from the rally site. Continue down US 301 past the location of the Assasain’s End. At VA 30, head west and The Meadow Event Park is only a few miles on the right.
Using Ride with GPS
Ride with GPS is a great way for the MOA to share and distribute maps, GPS routes, and turn-by-turn instructions. As with any great service, some best practices in the form of tips and tricks are in order.
- Each route in Ride with GPS is equivalent to a track in the world of Garmin GPS’s and BaseCamp. So for all the routes, make sure you get the entire collection of routes in Ride with GPS.
- Ride with GPS allows you to download many different GPS files types including GPX for the BMW Navigator series and other Garmin products
- When downloading GPX files, only download the ‘GPX Track’ version
- The ‘GPX Route’ version will leave you at the mercy of the settings on your Garmin GPS, and will take you off the planned route and maybe to unexpected places and road conditions
- Once you have the ‘GPX Track’ version loaded on your device and want turn-by-turn navigation, convert the ‘track’ on your Garmin GPS to a ‘trip’
- If you don’t have a dedicated GPS device and use your phone for navigation, Ride with GPS also has a number of file formats to work with various navigation apps for phones
- Ride with GPS also has its own phone app that will also help guide you
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